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You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1400 titles.
Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
Drawing on interviews with informants from a diverse range of 16 countries, including the US, the UK, Germany, Portugal, Norway, Peru, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Nigeria, this book examines how child support systems often fail to transfer payments from separated fathers to mothers and their children. It lays out how these systems are structured in ways that render them ineffective, while positioning women as responsible for their failures.
The book charts the demise of child support as a feminist intervention, resituating it as gendered governance practice that operates by making the system inaccessible, failing to deliver outcomes, and condoning fathers’ irresponsibility. It identifies how the gender order is entrenched through child support failure and offers possibilities for feminist reform.
In 1990, disturbing television footage emerged showing the inhumane conditions in which children in Romanian institutions were living. Viewers were shocked that the babies were silent. The so-called ‘Romanian orphans’ became subjects of several international research studies. In parallel, Romania had to reform its child protection system in order to become a member of the European Union.
This book sheds light on the lived experiences of these children, who had become adults by the time the country joined the EU. Uniquely, the book brings together the accounts of those who stayed in institutions, those who grew up in foster care and those who were adopted, both in Romania and internationally. Their narratives challenge stereotypes about these types of care.
Attachment parenting is an increasingly popular style of childrearing that emphasises ‘natural’ activities such as extended breastfeeding, bedsharing and babywearing. Such parenting activities are framed as the key to addressing a variety of social ills. Parents’ choices are thus made deeply significant with the potential to guarantee the well-being of future societies.
Examining black mothers’ engagements with attachment parenting, Hamilton shows the limitations of this neoliberal approach. Unique in its intersectional analysis of contemporary mothering ideologies, this outstanding book fills a gap in the literature on parenting culture studies, drawing on black feminist theorizing to analyse intensive mothering practices and policies.
Black Mothers and Attachment Parenting is shortlisted for the 2021 BSA Philip Abrams Memorial Prize.
The relationship between the family and civil society has always been complex, with the family often regarded as separate from, or even oppositional to, civil society.
Taking a fresh empirical approach, Muddiman, Power and Taylor reveal how such separation underestimates the important role the family plays in civil society. Considering the impact of family events, dinner table debates, intergenerational transmission of virtues and the role of the mother, this enlightening book draws on survey data from 1000 young people, a sample of their parents and grandparents, and extended family interviews, to uncover how civil engagement, activism and political participation are inherited and fostered within the home.
The feeding of human milk to socially and biologically unrelated infants is not a new phenomenon, but the Euroamerican values of individualism have generated expectations that mothers are individually responsible for feeding their own infants.
Using a bio-communities of practice framework, this dynamic new analysis explores the emotional and material dimensions of the growing milk sharing practice in the Global North and its implications for contemporary understandings of infant feeding in the US.
Ranging widely across themes of motherhood, gender and sociology, this is a compelling empirical account of infant feeding that stimulates new thinking about a contentious practice.
Drawing on detailed qualitative research, this timely study explores the experiences of fathers who take on equal or primary care responsibilities for young children.
The authors examine what prompts these arrangements, how fathers adjust to their caregiving roles over time, and what challenges they face along the way.
The book asks what would encourage more fathers to become primary or equal caregivers, and how we can make things easier for those who do. Offering new academic insight and practical recommendations, this will be key reading for those interested in parenting, families and gender, including researchers, policymakers, practitioners and students.
We routinely judge how well children are doing in their lives by how they spend their time, yet we know remarkably little about it.
This rigorous review of four decades of data provides the clearest insights yet into the way children use their time. With analysis of changes in the time spent on family, education, culture and technology, as well as children’s own views on their habits, it provides a fascinating perspective on behaviour, wellbeing, social change and more.
This is an indispensable companion to the work of policy makers, academics and researchers, and anyone interested in the daily lives of children.
Nordic countries lead the way in facilitating better work-family integration through their design of parental leave policies that encourage men towards life courses with greater care responsibilities.
Based on original research, this compelling book offers a novel analysis of the everyday parental practices of fathers and parents in Norway as a way of understanding the workings of labour market and welfare policies, whilst considering how migrant fathers might relate to the expectations such laws generate. The authors showcase how this style of men’s care work constitutes a re-gendering of men by promoting ‘caring masculinities’.
Exploring the untold experiences of family members and friends caring for the children of female prisoners in England and Wales, this book sheds light on the collateral damage that incarceration causes those who take over caregiving responsibilities for the children of female prisoners.
Providing new qualitative research on the lived experiences of caregiving relatives, alongside theoretically informed and policy-relevant insights, Booth shows the difficult and damaging consequences of the ‘family sentence’ they serve. Exploring the stigma, scarce statutory support and policy neglect they face, she offers much-needed evidence to encourage the development of a more inclusive, understanding and family-oriented justice system.
This radical and critical account of family justice explores children’s wellbeing and ethical issues in children’s upbringing through the lens of political philosophy. Fowler reconceptualises what constitutes children’s wellbeing, the duties of parents to promote children’s wellbeing and the collective obligations of state and society to ensure that children’s best interests are advanced and protected.
Arguing that the wellbeing of children should not be measured in terms of subjective happiness but rather by them coming to hold an appropriate set of values and aspirations, Fowler challenges the dominant liberal model of parenting and calls instead for all citizens to take greater responsibility for guaranteeing that children lead flourishing lives.